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Posted by Nancy on September 04, 2000 at 23:24:59:


I hope this will reach someone who did not associate a child's Autism diagnosis with Lyme Disease. My
beautiful 3 year old daughter came down with several "flu" like illnesses when she was 2-1/2. We live in a
Lyme Disease prone area and she was eventually diagnosed with Lyme Disease 1-1/2 months after her
3rd birthday. She felt absolutely horrible and went on a 21 day antibiotic treatment. I'll always remember
her pediatrician saying that once she feels better I will have my happy, wonderful little girl back. She never
was the same after that. Thinking it was the " terrible two's" coming a little late, it never occurred to me
she could still be sick. Now it's Labor Day and just 4 days ago we were told Emily is Autistic. We just
could not accept this because Emily is loving, she looks everyone in the eye, she talks but has a speech
delay, is affectionate and happy. She can count to 12, knows all her colors, basic shapes and can identify
most letters of the alphabet. I realize children with mild Autism can be just like this but Emily changed
when she got Lyme Disease. Now she has irrational fears, has obsessive behavior and plays inappropriately.
She can recite a movie from beginning to end and act it out with her Disney figurines. She throws horrible
temper tantrums. A neurologist spoke to me for 40 minutes while observing Emily and gave me the
diagnosis the she is a highly intelligent Autistic child. I went on-line and typed in the word Autism and the
word Lyme. Only one web site came up and it was the Lyme Research Institute at Columbia Univ. Med.
Ctr. Dr. Brian Fallon is researching incidences of Autistic behavior occurring in children with Lyme. My
daughters pediatrician says there is some validity to this and is sending her to a specialist. I hope with
all my heart that this is Lyme Disease (but than again I don't because it is so hard to cure). I'm writing this
because there may be others in my situation who have not associated the two conditions. Wouldn't this
be a great breakthrough if parents and doctors became aware of the potential neurological manifestation of Lyme Disease
in children therefore preventing misdiagnosed developmental problems. I hope this reaches someone in
a similar situation so the appropriate treatment can be given. I realize Emily still may be Autistic but I
know that I will have exhausted all other possibilities. All I know is that her doctor told me 9 months ago
that Emily is not Autisitc ( I was concerned because of her speech delay and had no idea what the
symptoms of Autism were) and after the Lyme Disease she became a different child. I feel for all parents of Autistic children and I sincerely
wish all of you well!

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